Pizzédélic and A Little Flavor Chemistry

You might be noticing a trend among my food reviews … we like pizza.

Pizzédélic did not disappoint our craving. Crisp, thin crust with an array of topping choices. We went when the weather was still warm and were able to enjoy their outdoor seating. This bright green building in the Plateau neighborhood really stands out, you can’t miss it. And you shouldn’t; this is the only place, other than my parents’ kitchen, that I have had a properly cooked pizza.

See that? In the lower left corner? That brown, crunchy goodness? That’s crisped cheese, and it is delectable.

Burned you say?

No, this pizza is not burned – it is properly cooked.

That is the Maillard reaction, the browning of amino acids, the creation of flavors, and in my opinion, the only way to make pizza.

You see, without the Maillard reaction, we have bland food. Within the cell walls of your food, let’s say the cheese on my pizza or the crust, there is water, sugar, and amino acids (which make up proteins) naturally present. Heating the food to a certain temperature causes the water, sugar, and amino acids to react with one another and create new flavor molecules. Cool, huh? That’s why we sear our meats or cook them on the grill. Can you imagine eating a boiled steak? The boiling water cannot reach the temperatures necessary for browning, producing a gray mass of flavorless beef. Yuck. And nachos! We have this constant debate in our household about melted cheese vs. Mr. Maillard reaction crisp cheese.

But that’s a post for another time.

Who said chemistry had to be boring?

1250 Av Du Mont-Royal Est

– Jes


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